February 22, 2017

Biblical Wisdom for Wednesday: Everything is Mine, Job!

I thought that this week, I would try starting a new feature. I would technically call it, Lisa's Ramblings about What Struck her Fancy during Bible Study...but instead I decided on Biblical Wisdom for Wednesday. LOL. I plan on sharing tidbits of thought that came from either my own studies, or things that pop in my head after my bible studies with the boys. Just extra tidbits that I wanted to share. I hope they will maybe encourage you. Or inspire you.

This week, we started learning about the story of Job from the Old Testament. Job has always been a favorite story of mine--I LOVE the beautiful verse of the words of Elihu and then the words from God. Because the Bible Story book we were reading just summarized these rich passages, I decided to read them aloud to my boys. They are GREAT read aloud passages and I encourage you to read them aloud--even for yourself. 
I just love this passage talking about the constellations!
One lesson we could learn from Job, is that we should never put claim on our own actions for God's blessings. We should never think we are so excellent at obeying Him, that we don't deserve trouble or trials. Job did this. He couldn't figure out WHY he was suffering. Hadn't he been obeying God as perfectly as he could--in fact better than anyone else? (Yes, God even acknowledges he has) Hadn't he been serving him faithfully and honorably? Why then on earth would God PUNISH him, by taking everything he had and cared for?!! He was supposed to be receiving blessings!

Don't we feel like that sometimes? 

We think that we've done nothing to deserve the trials or tribulations we are experiencing. We have been striving so hard to be obedient. We maybe even had a major break-thru in conquering a sin that had been troubling us. And then WHAM. Major crisis. We ask "Why??!" completely befuddled at how God could let this happen TO US! 

It's times like this we have to remember what God says to Job in Job 41:11

"Everything under heaven is Mine."

Wait. Do I really get that statement?
My money isn't mine.
My health isn't mine.
My family isn't mine.
My house isn't mine.
My life isn't mine.

Everything belongs to God. He designed it. He designed us. He put the spirit of man into man. He gave us the breath of life. He formed this world. He grants us the blessings we have. 

Nothing we have is truly ours. Not really. And that's where we get sticky in our thinking. The moment we start thinking that what we have done in our obedience EARNS us the blessings from God--the house, the money, the family, good health--the minute we have decided to tell GOD what is right. What He should do for us. What we deserve...we have a problem in our thinking.
"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." ~ Romans 3:23
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 6:23
We are mere humans. 
We owe EVERYTHING to God. Because everything is HIS.
We are sinners. And the only thing we truly deserve is death.
Blessings are GIFTS. Not requirements. 
Salvation is a GIFT.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." ~Ephesians 2:8
Nothing we do...NOTHING. Nothing requires God to give us blessings. 
"For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord..." James 1:7
In fact, although He does promise over and over to take care of His faithful, He never promises our way in this life to be easy. Quite the opposite rather.
“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:14

Remember--God did still take care of Job. He admonished Satan to spare Job's life. 
Perhaps it is best to think of this scripture when remembering the story and lessons from Job.
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." ~ James 1:2-3
Think of the relationship that Job must have had with God after his testing. If he was obedient and faithful before, how much more was he now? How much more GRATEFUL would be for all of the abundance God blessed him with afterwards?

Is it not true that we appreciate what we have more, after it's been taken away? Do we not recognize more of the blessings, when they have been removed? Do we not turn to GOD more when we are distressed, than when we are doing well?

Everyone has to come to that wake-up call that Job was given.
It seems to me that God was in essence reminding him... 

Everything is Mine, Job. You have forgotten that. Just as I have blessed you, so too can I lift My hand of protection, and remember, nothing you do in your obedience to Me and My ways requires me to keep you from disaster. I am not man. My ways are not your ways. Let this be a reminder to you for the days to come.

Let us remember this as well. Be grateful in our blessings. Never ceasing to praise God in the GOOD times, not just the bad. And choose to ask--"WHAT do you want me to learn, God?" instead of asking "WHY me, God?" the next time we fall into a time of trial. Maybe reading the book of Job will help you (and me!) put our lives in perspective in relation to the grand design and plan of God. 

"Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD."
Job 1:21

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